Coconut Oil Falls Into the Same Category as Raw Honey: It’s A Superfood.
I love the fact that nature readily supplies us with not only healthy foods to eat, but these same foods give us many medicinal and skin care benefits as well. They are the Life Hacks of the food world. Anything that can serve multiple purposes is going to find a place in my home!
Coconut Oil Has Gotten a Bad Rap in the Past
At one time coconut oil was as popular here in the United States as in the tropics, where it is still highly used. But in the 1970’s the corn oil and soy oil industry began a strong campaign against coconut oil, siting its high saturated fat content. This all came on the heels of the theory that saturated fats caused artery clogging heart disease. Coconut Oil has been gaining popularity again in the last decade as the saturated fat theory has been debunked and we have more knowledge about this healthy oil.
Coconut oil IS one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man. But what the authorities failed to mention back then, was the fact that coconut oil contains so-called Medium Chain Triglcerides (MTCs) — which are metabolized differently than the Long Chain Triglcerides of most saturated fats. MCTs go straight to the liver and are turned into ketone bodies for a quick source of energy, and even have therapeutic effects on the brain. And it does not cause an insulin spike. Studies have shown that coconut oil can actually improve our blood cholesterol. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype. You can read more about this topic on: 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Fortunately, I stopped listening to the FDA (and other propaganda) when they tried to convince us that eating butter (made from real cream) was harmful and we should instead consume an imitation food called margarine (which is one molecule away from being plastic), a product so far removed from real food that bacteria won’t even touch it! And then came the attack on eggs…but I’ll stop there and get off my soapbox.
Which Variety of Coconut Oil is the Best?
Before we get into more about how to use Coconut Oil, I should explain that I’m referring specifically to Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Unrefined. Virgin means the Coconut Oil is derived from the milk of fresh coconut meat, not copra (copra uses processes like fermentation, centrifugal separation or enzyme action). Care is taken to use little or no heat for this process, preserving all its wonderful properties. Organic means the coconuts are from palms raised organically and no chemicals were used in the extraction process.
This form of Coconut Oil is a solid at room temperature. You can set the jar in a bowl of warm water (never heat with a microwave) to get the oil. So you won’t want to store it in the refrigerator. I’ve found that it is easy to work with at room temperature and I’ve never had to warm it (but I live in a warm climate). It has a very long shelf life and doesn’t turn rancid. It’s safe to heat the oil for cooking as well.
At around $10 a jar, it may sound expensive ( I have found it on sale at times), but because this food has so many wonderful uses, the price is actually quite economic, as you’ll see when you read about how I’ve used it to replace expensive skin care products!
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil contains lots of Lauric Acid. In fact 50% of the fatty acids in Coconut Oil is Lauric acid. So how does Lauric Acid benefit us?
Because Coconut Oil contains Lauric Acid, when it is enzymatically digested (eaten and digested in the stomach), it also forms Monolaurin. Lauric Acid and Monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. These substances have been shown to kill the yeast Candida Albicans (a common yeast infection in humans) and Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen). You can see how this would help improve your immunity and digestion.
The MCTs in Coconut Oil have also been shown to decrease appetite and increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, helping you burn more fat and potentially leading to significant weight loss over time.
Because of its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties, Coconut Oil is very effective against a variety of infections. Smooth it on bruises, sunburns, infected areas, to create a layer of protection from dust, fungi, viruses and bacteria.
“According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhoea. Finally, coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.”
Skin and Hair Care
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well Coconut Oil can replace so many of our commercially made products, such as lotions and hair conditioners. I simply put some of it in a small container and store it with my cosmetics.
I’ve used it for an eye cream, face lotion, body lotion, makeup remover and hair conditioner. And each time, the oil not only performed as well as the product it was replacing, it usually out-performed it! My skin hasn’t felt this smooth and soft since I was much younger.
Here is a great article with lots of ways you can use Coconut Oil to replace some of those store-bought products: Countless Coconut Oil Uses
There is so much more we could cover in this subject, and if you are interested, I’d suggest reading the two articles highlighted in my blog, for even more information and ideas on how to use this Superfood!
Do you Currently Use Coconut Oil? In What Ways?